After interviewing fifty people, what is the key takeaway? Is a connection between golf and millennials possible in the future? What could brands like us do to encourage millennials to play? What could golf courses do to attract younger generations?
As we’ve seen in the previous two articles, golf no longer fits into the millennials' day to day lives. This is a fact. Work, school, and family take too much of their time and they don't want to spend four hours out there on the course. Millennials are attracted to diversity, they are constantly online, and digital activities occupy most of their time.
Their agendas are very busy, so speed and efficiency are key values for them. Ask them to do something and they simply "won't have time". Money and image are also important for them, and they will value this combo pack called: "cool and not expensive".
Finally, millennials will favor mixed gender activities and golf is clearly not one of them today.
However, the reasons why millennial non-players would play are the same reasons why young golfers do play today: friends and being outside. Millennials want to share nice moments with friends. They want to have fun and be entertained; this is clearly something golf could bring them.
To survive, golf must stay, or become again, a family and friend’s game. Not a competition or a business matter. To keep existing, golf must change its image and become what it is already: a cool activity that’s fun and simple and has a great impact on the body and mind.
To reach this goal, we see a few changes that should be made.
Structural changes that should be made at the golf club:
- Golf clubs must be more welcoming and accessible to millennials.
- Golf clubs must promote friendship, have a social atmosphere, loose the dress code, loosen the rules about phones and computers, lower the fees and get rid of their ‘members-only’ spaces. Golf is a fun, social, and experiential activity, golf clubs should be seen as such.
- Memberships adapted to millennials should be developed (special pricing/discounts on memberships, affordable equipment rentals, summer only memberships...)
- Tailormade programs should be developed to make millennials like golf (shorter formats of play, shorter courses, beginners-only time slots, test sessions, and introduction to golf lessons).
- Golf clubs should encourage referrals (bring-a-friend program).
- Having young people in the club’s staff; at the bar for example.
- Golf lessons should be taught by young and cool coaches.
- Social events should be organized for millennials. Meet and greets, for example.
- Infrastructure could be built besides golf, like mini golf for beginners and kids, pitch and putt, short courses and driving ranges.
- Other nice facilities should be built to attract millennials and favor social interactions with other young people.
- Proposing other activities close to golf within the golf club (tennis, yoga, pilates, pool)
- Building alliances and partnerships with brands like us :-)
- Partnerships between golf clubs and schools to make golf an option in their programs. Young people need to be introduced to the game early.
- Implementing a cool marketing strategy with the right message adapted to the values of millennials.
Non-structural changes that should be made by golf brands like us:
- Changing the perception of golf to make golf cool! Brands like us can have a huge impact on mentalities over the long term. The sport perception must evolve, going from an elitist sport to becoming a friends and family activity. Golf is not about business and networking anymore. It’s all about experience, socialization, and relationships. Brands like us can deliver the right message and make golf accessible and inclusive. Brands like us can position golf as both an individual sport, a team sport and overall, as the new sport for millennials.
- Ideal perception of golf to communicate to millennials: have fun with friends, cool and relaxed environment, golf keeps its players fit and healthy, no physical skills or experience needed, cool clothes allowed.
- Finding the right ambassadors and influencers to tell stories and deliver messages
- Collaborating with other sports (walking, running, yoga, pilates, and fitness)
- Embracing subjects that are important for millennials (climate change, environment protection, diversity…) Golf must learn to speak the language of millennials.
What do you think? Do you see something else?
We do... but we keep the rest for us for the moment ;-)
From our perspective, things are pretty exciting and the situation is clearly not as bad as it looks.
Changes are necessary and possible... with time.
This story has been written from my perspective, my name is Arthur, and I am the founder of Untraced. If you have any questions or comments, I invite you to get in touch with me directly: firstname.lastname@example.org